Construction helicopters and aerial cranes are among the most versatile construction tools for heavy civil, energy and commercial construction projects. Unlike ground cranes, helicopters can transport cargo and lift heavy loads quickly, and contractors throughout the country routinely employ aerial cranes to reduce cost and increase safety on construction sites.
Aerial cranes are used to lift heavy building materials like steel, concrete, wood and brick, and they are often used to place rooftop units like HVAC systems with precision. Across the energy and communications industry, helicopters are used to set radio transmissions towers and power lines, and they’re essential tools for monitoring environmental impact and maintenance on pipelines and energy infrastructure.
In short: When a ground crane is incapable of completing a job—whether due to cost, access, or terrain—construction companies routinely call on aerial cranes.
Here are 5 benefits to working with a construction helicopter:
Construction helicopters are best suited towards surveying and pre-project assessments.
Preparing a site for construction is an essential part of any project. Performing initial aerial, survey and environmental assessments of an area before a construction site is staked is often among the first tasks needed to initiate a project. And contracting a construction helicopter and aerial crane company offers more cost-effective, efficient and accurate tools during the assessment and pre-project planning phase.
Here, helicopters provide an obvious benefit: A utility helicopter can increase the effectiveness and range of your surveying efforts by enabling you to inspect the current conditions of any infrastructure, as well as perform aerial surveys, environmental monitoring, hazard assessments, and volumetric calculations.
Many surveying companies and subcontractors also employ helicopters to monitor a construction site during a project’s progress. Helicopters can be used to take photographs and create timelapse videos of a structure as it's being built or a site as it’s readied for construction. Up-to-date images allow contractors to coordinate logistics, monitor development, inform stakeholders of progress, and identify environmental variables before they stress a site.
Beyond these services, many surveyors and subcontractors use helicopters for thermal imaging to check the incongruity of pipelines and other underground structures.
Helicopters are more accessible and mobile than ground cranes.
Helicopters can access nearly any area, from high-traffic urban areas with few access points to inaccessible and remote sites. The same is certainly true for utility helicopters, which routinely perform construction duties in environmentally challenging terrain—like mountains and hills—and in accessible areas, like skyscraper rooftops.
Ultimately, working with an aerial crane to complete tasks, rather than a ground crane, means less preliminary and pre-project work, as well as auxiliary jobs and contractors. Construction helicopters eliminate the need for roads and motor vehicles, clearing and grading, and ground inconveniences like ground traffic and congestion. Where all of these factors may stress a construction crew which must transport and position a ground crane, aerial cranes are unaffected.
Aerial cranes are far more mobile than ground cranes. Standard cranes can be difficult to maneuver when performing common installations—like rooftop HVAC units, chillers and ventilations—and are more prone to accidents and costly mistakes on the ground.
Helicopters are more agile, precise and safe.
Aerial construction is always a dangerous and precise activity, requiring contractors and insurers to hold precaution and safety among all else. The agility and precision of a helicopter—compared to the immobility and accident-prone nature of standard cranes—means construction companies can rely on a crane system that is safe for workers and a better investment of time, money and resources.
On the job site, this precision increases the safety of external load operations and helps mitigate the risk of harm to nearby properties and crew. This can save a contractor from costly expenses resulting from lawsuits and repairs, as well as the headache of a project delay.
In addition, aerial cranes, unlike standard cranes, are developed to brave the elements and are better able to handle turbulent crosswinds and threatening environmental conditions. Construction helicopters and aerial cranes are equipped to perform just as consistently in potential hazards like:
- High altitude
- High temperature
- Elevated atmospheric pressure
- Rocky or mountainous terrain
- Forests or swamps
- Soft ground
Helicopters are better suited to your bottom line than standard cranes.
Aerial cranes are often far more cost-effective than traditional ground cranes. Lift fees for construction helicopters are frequently less expensive because of a helicopters’ timeliness, and aerial cranes require less planning and crew support: In many cases, the helicopter company you contract will do much of the work for you.
Time is money, and the cost of a helicopter to lift heavy equipment is often far cheaper than fixed or mobile cranes because helicopters are much faster.
Traditional cranes require positioning on site and setting up before lifting can begin. They can also require road closures and traffic management for an entire day. For any construction company, the logistics to rent, operate and position standard cranes can become incredibly burdensome to a project’s bottom line.
When you work with aerial cranes, a helicopter platform can be deployed to the construction site, and a payload can be positioned within minutes. Considering that helicopter fees are often calculated by the hour, this can prove extremely cost-effective for many lifting jobs.
Helicopter Express is staffed by a dedicated crew to ensure safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.
When you work with a helicopter chartering company, you don’t just secure a helicopter. You work with an entire helicopter crew who are devoted to your project’s safety and timeliness. When you first meet with our team, we’ll discuss your project’s challenges and goals, and we’ll help you to choose the most efficient helicopter and service strategy for your needs.
Your team will work with Helicopter Express’ project managers and on-site logistics coordinators, and we’ll help to outline your project, coordinate rig setup, teardown & transport, and manage external load transportation to ensure your job is completed safely and efficiently.
In the air, you’ll work with helicopter pilots who are highly skilled at flying in a diverse range of environments and applications. All of our helicopter pilots are experienced in the construction setting and know how to perform cargo and heavy-lift tasks with extreme precision.
If you’re interested in learning more about our construction helicopter and aerial crane services, reach out to our team of Atlanta-based helicopter experts today.